The governor of the Central Bank of Latvia, Ilmars Rimsevics, was arrested this weekend by the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (KNAB) on suspicion of taking a bribe of 100,000 euros, report Latvian media.
KNAB chief Jekabs Straume confirmed to the press on Monday that legal proceedings have been instituted against a senior official and a private person, without giving any names.
He added that these charges “did not allow the public servant to continue to perform his duties”.
Mr Rimsevics, who has been head of the Central Bank of Latvia since 2001, was arrested by the KNAB this weekend. His home and offices were also searched by officers of the Bureau.
His lawyer asked the court to release his client on bail. The sum, set at 100,000 euros, has already been paid by a friend of the governor. If justice accepts his request, Mr. Rimsevics could be released on Monday.
Latvian Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis said after a special meeting of his cabinet that Mr Rimsevics should suspend his duties when he is released on bail.
Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola (Greens-Farmers) also said on Sunday that the governor should step down “during the investigation by the KNAB”.
For its part, the chairman of the parliamentary committee on national security, Inese Libina-Egnere, said Monday that the governor should resign, otherwise the parliament will study other ways to remove him.